The new AfterFX 6 - pros and cons?

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  10 October 2003
Quote: Originally posted by moroten

Anyway, what "real compositing" can Combustion do that AE 6 cannot?


A few thoughts ( I have not upgraded to AE 6 yet so these comments are based on AE 5.5, although i know/hope a couple items may have been remedied in v6).

- Keying in AE is a nightmare at best. The Combustion keyer is derived from the IFF line of products and is one of the best I've seen. Granted, third party keyers exist, but is a decent keyer too much to ask?

- Paint/roto. Roto tools are only in the Production bundle and are extremely unrefined. The spline based roto tools in c3 are among the best out there, albeit a bit slow. C3 also has an extremely powerful vector paint toolset.

- Tracking. I've personally found the tracker in C3 to be far easier to use, better integrated, and more accurate than the offering in AE.

- Color Correction. Same deal as the keying section above.

- Integration. C3 has more tools that allow you to create footage or elements right inside the package, rather than having to jump out to Illustrator or Photoshop (or a 3d soft) for every need. Vector paint, integrated Illusion engine, flexible type engine, etc.

- Accuracy. True float space support.

- 3D. True OGL driven 3d compositing environment.

- Backburner. Kick-ass network rendering manager...not ghetto watch-folder approach.

Just a few, but these are items that are crucial. Although, key strengths of AE over C3, which underline it's advantage in motion graphics...

Keyframe assistant

Timeline view is easier to work with when you have lots of layers

Vast plugin community (although most work with C3 as well).

Great integration if you're a Cinema4D user.

anyway, use what you like...

just my $.02
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  10 October 2003
please donīt kill me for this

Quote: Originally posted by moroten

Anyway, what "real compositing" can Combustion do that AE 6 cannot?

Awaiting further enlightenment,
Daniel


Well,
1. Rotoscoping and wireremoval, as itīs got an integrated painter. just track a point you want to remove and clonestamp over it and the stamped area will stick to the tracker. by the way combustion has unlimited trackingpoints AE has only one.

2. the colourcorrector kicks AE right up the ass. sorry for that, but itīs true. Itīs about the same as the one in flame or inferno.

3. combustions keyingtools compare to AEīs like, well just read point 2. itīs about the same.

4. combustion 3 now has nle abilities.

5. combustion comes with everything AE pro bundle comes, (only better and with even more features) and costs about half as much as AE pro bundle.

6. AE without the pro bundle is so limited you can use it for title animation and motiongraphics and thatīs about it.
no fancy keyingtools, no 3d tools, no tracking, no warping tools.

7. if you use Lightwave and you render in multipass psd fileformat, saying a sequence of multilayerd psd files. and you want to tweak colours, shadows, reflections and so on in compositing, then just forget AE. adobe forgot to support their own fileformat. you can import a psd as a comp with all the layers accessible and individually tweakable but only as a still frame, when you import it as a sequence you have to chose a layer you want or you merge layers, then you have the animation but you cannot access the different layers for post tweaking which as you all know is the essence of multipass rendering. combustion can handle multilayer psd sequences. but thatīs just interresting if you use lightwave as i do not know of another 3d app that exports to multilayer psd file.

So if you think youīll ever need things like rotoscoping, fourcorner pin tracking, the best available colourcorrector ore keyingtools who actually deserve the name, and you donīt want to pay 5000$ for something calles shake, you best contact your nearest discreet dealer and give combustion a shot.

P.S. : please no flaming. I own AE and soon I will buy combustion. I used both extensivelly on various studentfilms at uni and after fights and hassles i figured out that AE is really cool and unbeatable when it comes to motiongraphics and title animation, but when it comes to serious compositing, well, itīs like writing a letter in photoshop. It might be possible, but donīt even look after the autocorrect button . nobody would do it just as nobody would do serious photowork in windows paint. I found that combustion is the most complete compositing package out there and the cost of it is verry low compared to what you get when you buy AE. but AEīs still a really cool app.

edit by the way you can use most of AEīs plugins in combustion too.
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  10 October 2003
Both of you, thanks for two great replies!

The new AE 6 does have 3D OpenGL support for much faster manipulating and playback in the work environment. So maybe some of the other caveats have been fixed as well?

-Daniel
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  10 October 2003
Quote: Originally posted by moroten
Both of you, thanks for two great replies!

The new AE 6 does have 3D OpenGL support for much faster manipulating and playback in the work environment. So maybe some of the other caveats have been fixed as well?

-Daniel

nope. just looked on the new featurelist. and from what iīve learned by now is : if they do not mention a new feature itīs more than likelly they donīt have it.
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  10 October 2003
oh yeah and as of verion 3.0, integrated re:Flex warper at no extra cost!
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  10 October 2003
>>>- Keying in AE is a nightmare at best. The Combustion keyer is derived from the IFF line of products and is one of the best I've seen. Granted, third party keyers exist, but is a decent keyer too much to ask?

Keylight has been added and it's swell

>>>>- Paint/roto. Roto tools are only in the Production bundle and are extremely unrefined. The spline based roto tools in c3 are among the best out there, albeit a bit slow. C3 also has an extremely powerful vector paint toolset.

There have been improvements in this area

>>>>- Tracking. I've personally found the tracker in C3 to be far easier to use, better integrated, and more accurate than the offering in AE.

There have been improvements in this area

>>>- Color Correction. Same deal as the keying section above.

You'd have to elborate on how they are easier to use

>>>- Integration. C3 has more tools that allow you to create footage or elements right inside the package, rather than having to jump out to Illustrator or Photoshop (or a 3d soft) for every need. Vector paint, integrated Illusion engine, flexible type engine, etc.

Ae has vector paint,partical playground(not as good as Illusion engine it that is what I think it is) and the best damn type tool ever.. it's new and it's awesome

>>>- Accuracy. True float space support.

okay AE doesn't have that

>>>- 3D. True OGL driven 3d compositing environment.

AE has true OGL driven display

>>>- Backburner. Kick-ass network rendering manager...not ghetto watch-folder approach.

AE can now be used with third party render farm software.

>>>Keyframe assistant

More scripting and expressions have been added

>>>Timeline view is easier to work with when you have lots of layers

Although I will sav that the ciurve editor needs an doverhaul

>>>Vast plugin community (although most work with C3 as well).

True although support for the odlers ones may need to be broken if the package is to move ahad in some areas

>>Great integration if you're a Cinema4D user.

I've thought about trying to modify or create some script sthat make this usefull for maya users
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  10 October 2003
Re: please donīt kill me for this

5. combustion comes with everything AE pro bundle comes, (only better and with even more features) and costs about half as much as AE pro bundle.

C3 $995 AE6 Pro $999, AE6 standard $699


7. if you use Lightwave and you render in multipass psd fileformat, saying a sequence of multilayerd psd files. and you want to tweak colours, shadows, reflections and so on in compositing, then just forget AE. adobe forgot to support their own fileformat. you can import a psd as a comp with all the layers accessible and individually tweakable but only as a still frame,

Not true.. you can import a layers PSD sequence as a comp.. you are just missing somethign obvious or thinking of an older version
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  10 October 2003
... sorry hadn't checked back

Well, I just mean that many of the tools I use in compositing are much better in Combustion. Maybe I am being a little biased toward Combustion just because I like it so much more, but until Ver 6.0 the keyer in AE has been very bad, also color correction is not as good as in combustion IMHO or at least not as easy to use, as far as me saying the tools were not there, I guess I misspoke, they are there, and you could composite in AE, but I think you would be better off in Combustion. It's like I could edit this in Premiere but I'd rather use Final Cut I just think it's better at it, I guess that's just an opinion though. Sorry for any mix-ups
 
  10 October 2003
Quote: Originally posted by moroten
... One thing I do know Combustions has is some sort of direct link with the 3dsmax render engine for a seamless work environment. Im not too sure what it does exactly, but isnt there any 3rd party plugin that enables the pretty much the same feature with AE?...


Mabe you mean psd-manager for 3ds max. It can produce sequences of multi-layered PSD files that include all the 3ds max render elements (Diffuse, Specular, Shadows...) as layers (with the correct blending modes). And you can also add precise mattes for objects and materials to the PSD file as layers.

The new ability to import multi-layered PSD files in After Effects 6.0 as composition makes this a very slick solution (it was about time Adobe implemented this).



Daniel
 
  10 October 2003
Re: Re: please donīt kill me for this

>>C3 $995 AE6 Pro $999, AE6 standard $699

well thats the new price then , sorry but I bought AE5.5 and the price for AE5.5 Pro by that time was around 3000 Euro while combustion at that time had a price cutdown to 1300 Euro ie. 995,- $.
So that has changed. good.

>>Not true.. you can import a layers PSD sequence as a comp.. you are just missing somethign obvious or thinking of an older version

If they really have managed to handle this issue cool. with 5.5 the version I work with, it is not possible, and I asked my butt off in noumerous forums and even consulted adobe support and when someone at adobe tells me itīs impossible I am tempted to believe what he is saying.

and to the tracker thingy. i looked at adobes site and there was mentioned that they made the tracker faster not how many points you could track. is there a place where there is real info on the nwe features and improvements of AE, as on adobes site there is only the usual " we made this feature better" chitchat, but no insight on how better it is. if itīs not unlimited trackingfeatures per layer itīs not usable, thatīs the point.

have you ever tried combustion by the way? i think they have a demo version. give it a try. itīs difficult to say what makes keying and colourcorrection in combustion so much more fun than in AE, you have to actually see it. I have worked with AE since version 4, well for some years now but since i also work with combustion itīs like iīve seen the light. AEīs cool, sure but combustion is a compositing tool with tools like the big boys have ( flame, inferno) I donīt think AE will ever be able to compete with a toolset like that.
just my two cents.

p.s.: I really donīt want to fight here, just download the demos ans judge for yourself, what else can i say.
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  10 October 2003
oh just seen the overview movie and it really seems that the tracking problem is solved . looks like a really big update that is worth buying thou i still think collourcorrection and keying in combustion is still better as it has the keying and collourcorrectiontools known as the best in business. but the new text tools and the new brushes in AE really look sweet. sure better than combustions text toolset.
i still couldnīt figure out if AE 6 can now import multilayer psd sequences as an animated comp. have to get more info.
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  10 October 2003
Quote: Originally posted by MrWyatt
...i still couldnīt figure out if AE 6 can now import multilayer psd sequences as an animated comp. have to get more info.


It can, It can ! Read the New Features PDF or download the After Effects 6.0 Demo and try it. (If you use 3ds max you can also download the psd-manager demo and produce some PSD sequences with it.)

BTW, Combustion 3 ist still not able to import multilayered PSD files as sequence !

Daniel
 
  10 October 2003
Quote: Originally posted by dans
BTW, Combustion 3 ist still not able to import multilayered PSD files as sequence !

Daniel


how that? i just did it in combustion 2 so why should it not be possible in version 3?
I think you mix up things here.
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  10 October 2003
Quote: Originally posted by MrWyatt
how that? i just did it in combustion 2 so why should it not be possible in version 3?
I think you mix up things here.


No it doesn't work in Combustion 2. You can import a single PSD and split it up in layers (most of the time). But if you use a seqeunce of PSD files and import them (so you cann acces the individual layers) you can only see the first frame. This is still the same in Combustion 3.

The only way to get it to work is to use huge uncompressed PSD files (like the ones produced by the demo of psd-manager, this is a restriction of the demo). But umcompressed PSD files are not really an option, because they are huge and not many applications can create them. Even Photoshop doesn't save uncompresed PSD files.

Daniel
 
  10 October 2003
>>>i still think collourcorrection and keying in combustion is still better as it has the keying and collourcorrectiontools known as the best in business.

I actually had a chance to play aroudn with C 2.1 after digitising some footage. Yup reminds me of when I was flint operator.

The keyer did seem to pull a key fast .. I couldn't really confirm if is was any better than AE. It's been years since I was used to the Discreet workflow and I can say that I never really did like it. I didn't have time to mess with the color correction.

For me the way AE manages file and layers is far and beyond any program. I dunno I can't imaginge doing projects I do in anything else.. they combine a little bit of everything. Maybe if you comps where allways a couple of layers the same length with some CC and Keying then Combustion may have enough of an edge to be worth it. Personally I would jump out window. I almost did when I had client supervised sessions on the Flint.. and I was on the 23rd floor. Just kidding.. you can't open the windows on the 23rd floor so I would just bounce off the glass.

On the other hand I do have some 2k plates that I will be color correcte dsoon.. it would be interesting for to compare the two programs in that scenario.. one layer ...one function. I could see dealing with the Discreet workflow for that.



>>>i still couldnīt figure out if AE 6 can now import multilayer psd sequences as an animated comp. have to get more info.

Go to Import> Select first file of PSD sequence, choose import as comp from pulldown then check import sequence at the bottom
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